In the Midst of a Housing Crisis, Soaring Costs Leave San Francisco Projects at a Standstill

San Francisco desperately needs more housing, but many projects sit unfinished as developers face cost challenges.
September 6, 2018, 1pm PDT | Camille Fink
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Iryna Liveoak

J.K. Dineen reports on increasing costs in San Francisco that have resulted in stalled construction projects and residential builders looking to cash out:

There are 6,750 units under construction in the city, about 1,000 units more than a year ago. While that is well above the historic average, there are another 15,000 units that have been approved by planning officials but have not started construction. Projects containing 6,690 of those units have secured all the permits needed to start construction but have not broken ground, Planning Department documents show.

One problem is rising construction costs, with increases of 10 to 15 percent a year over the last five years. In addition, more affordable housing requirements and other fees and obligations are driving up costs and bogging down projects.

This slowdown in residential construction is worrisome in an area with a serious housing crisis. But, points out Dineen, this may ultimately help affordable housing developers, some of whom are already partnering with private developers to resurrect and complete projects.

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Published on Monday, August 27, 2018 in San Francisco Chronicle
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